I'm in my Wonderful World of Weird Words mode and so is the New Oxford American Dictionary. Anyone who is a logophile is acquainted with it's mother publication, Oxford English Dictionary. It's probably the best dictionary of our language -- it not only includes definitions but has the history of the word which is really helpful for those of us who are interested in linguistics. If you visit the OED site you can, as I do, subscribe to their word of the day which is always interesting. The American edition has a blog that's interesting, too.
Each year the American edition, the New Oxford American Dictionary, selects a word of the year -- usually related to social trends and this year The New Oxford American Dictionary's 2007 Word of the Year is:
locavore: a person who uses locally grown produce largely for nutritional and ecological reasons.
The word began in San Francisco (where else?) with four women who began encouraging residents of the area to buy produce grown within a 100-mile radius or, even better, grow their own. The locavore movement has spread and more and more people are doing their produce shopping at farmer's markets or planting gardens. In some areas, they prefer 'localvore' but the meaning and concept is the same. Heck! I knew that as a kid whose parents -- and grandparents on both sides -- always planted a garden and it was fresh fruit and veggies all summer long. And and anything that could be "put up" (i.e., canned) was. Homemade strawberry preserves or grape jelly on your toast in the morning is the greatest!
Maybe I'm being picky but I'm not certain if I would consider it the word of the year because the first I heard of it was in a newsletter I get from Michael Quinion in England called World Wide Words, another interesting read if you love words.
Some of the runners-up that I like are:
colony collapse disorder: a still-unexplained phenomenon resulting in the widespread disappearance of honeybees from beehives, first observed in late 2006.
mumblecore: an independent film movement featuring low-budget production, non-professional actors, and largely improvised dialogue.
aging in place: the process of growing older while living in one’s own residence, instead of having to move to a new home or community.
If you want to see the entire list of nominees, you can look here.
Hope you find all this as interesting as I do and let me know if you're familiar with their choice as the 2007 Word of the Year! It's nagging at me that I missed it in my travels.